Waiting isn't the answer....
You would be "waiting" forever. I have read through all of the responses to your question and while everyone who replies to a call for help thinks that the advice they have given is correct, it is not quite always so, or at least not quite accurate. I don't mean to offend anyone and while I'm sure that some of my advice has caused others to roll their eyes, the advice given by everyone is because it is what the people believe to be true, in their own experiences.
I agree with quite a bit of what was said but a lot of it will depend on how knowledgeable YOU are and how much experience YOU have, as to whether it will help you. First off, you need to decide how serious of a "gamer" you want to be or if you are just trying to "catch up" to the technology. If it is serious gaming that your after, I'm afraid you will never be up to date as games are created faster than the average person can afford to update their hardware to match. Also, for gaming, it is going to cost at lot more than if you are just using a computer for everyday "stuff", at least if your serious about gaming. You decide.
Next, the OS. I give those unafraid souls who go through the trials & tribulations of any new operating system great credit. Without them none of the bugs would be found and (if they can) fixed. I have used every OS since DOS 2.0 with the exception of ME and NT and I have always waited for at least a year (except with DOS) or longer, to wait for the bugs to be worked out (which has never really happened anyway). Right now I use XP Pro on my main system and Windows 98 SE on my other computers. MY reason for that is that I wanted XP for the video work capabilities and I like 98 the best, for ease of use (I configure XP to look like 98!). As for Vista, I won't even think about it for a year or two, if at all. One thing to bear in mind when buying a computer from a store is that 95% of the time (or higher), you only buy the RIGHTS to use the OS that has been pre-installed and do not get a system disk with the computer. And if you have your own disk at home already, you don't need it pre-installed anyway (along with most of the other crap that is installed).
I have also found that I can build a system cheaper than I can buy one, usually with some better features. Now, I realise that not everyone is comfortable with building their own but in MY EXPERIENCE, it is the best way to go. I always compare a deal from one of the big stores (the ones that always show the price AFTER your mail-in rebate), and then price out the same or comparable system from my supplier (www.ncix.com). The thing with buying one of these "deals", is that you have to ask yourself if you need all the extras that usually come along with it.
So, my advice to you, from MY EXPERIENCE, is to determine what you want to do right now with a computer, shop around at the bigger stores and go to the smaller computer stores as well, decide if you want to start to learn more and build one yourself, decide how much you want to spend to start and then get it. The biggest problem that one encounters is that no matter how "up-to-date" the hardware is that you get now, it will be "out-of date" within a few months. There is always something bigger, faster and "better" coming out, so it is virtually impossible to keep "up-to-date". There really isn't a "correct" answer to your question or a wrong answer for that matter. It just boils down to what you want and if you are willing to learn new things and to take some chances on your own abilities. What works for me will not always work for the next guy or gal and for every positive argument or suggestion there is always a negative one as well.
I could continue to go with the pros and cons of all the hardware, software, etc., but it really wouldn't help a lot if you don't understand all that is being said. Research is your best weapon. Best of luck and remember: there are no stupid questions if you do not know the answers!
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